The following is a blog by Kate Tallent, of KTD Creative.
Have you ever had a run-in with Godzilla? This has happened to me on occasion. Recently I was meeting with a client, asking questions that would form the basis for a new web site design. An hour into the discussion the client stated that the questions seemed tedious and that he did not know why his project would entail so much research and preparation for what was merely a “site refreshment.”
I replied that he had contracted my firm to produce a new site, not a “refreshment,” at which point the client became Godzilla. He roared. He got angry. According to Wikipedia, “the most notable of Godzilla’s … abilities is his atomic breath: a powerful heat ray of fire from his mouth.” Cue special effects. I was feeling the heat ray. Ouch.
Frustrated, Godzilla jumped up and ran to his computer, where he tried to find emails about a “web site refreshment.” Instead he found a proposal, contract and questionnaires his staff had completed that were used to form a creative brief — also among the emails.
illustration by Val Bochkov
The paper trail was there. Godzilla backed down. Returned to his human form, the client and I resumed a discussion about the new site. We reviewed the creative brief together.
I should mention that I like this smart, committed client a great deal. But he juggles many projects and manages a large staff. The afternoon of the meeting, he was having a terrible day. Having them myself, I can relate. But the paper trail saved designer face. Had I not had the creative brief, as well as the contract and proposal, this busy CEO might have dismissed my firm. As it was, he and I reviewed the creative brief, and he added items for consideration. The project could get started.
The creative brief has that power. It ensures that you and the client are on the same page — and therefore stops any Godzilla eruptions in their tracks. So what is a creative brief, and why do you need one after you have the necessary proposal and contract?
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